Well that's the last time I mistake a "faculty forum" for a place where faculty actually have a forum. For more than an hour and half this afternoon I was transported back to the days of Elnora Daniel's All Campus Assemblies--remember those grandiose boring old powerpoint shows of hers? So here was yet another lecture on our strategic plan and mission and vision. [music swells at the point-- The Platters, "Smoke Gets in your Eyes"] Maybe someday we will get a Law School and Medical School complete with teaching hospital and an M.B.A. program,and a westside campus --we are the little college that could. Except, O great Oz, when we can't.
I wanted to hear more about "ethical leadership" from our CEO--the words spoken so seriously this afternoon and with a straight face. I wanted to ask, 'how does this play out on a campus where fear, intimidation, and retaliation are management techniques? where the patronage pit is alive and well?' We are after all the City Colleges Re-employment Program. (BTW Any bets on who will be the next provost? Can we at least have the farce of a search since that seems to be the only way upper administrators are hired?). Ethical leadership, indeed. [music swells--again it's the Platters--this time, "The Great Pretender"].
But if I had had a chance to ask a question, I probably wouldn't have. I would have instead reminded faculty to support the Independent Student Union that has organized this fall and plans to exercise its right to free speech and assembly and Occupy the Cook Building on Weds. November 23rd. at 10 a.m. The students are worried about the "cheapening" of their degrees. No, they are not simply trying to attain their "15 minutes of fame" or cause scandal that will lose us our accreditation. Below is listed what concerns them and should concern us as faculty in spite of today's equivocations:
Dr. Watson is embarrassing Chicago State:
• 41 Serious discrepancies in the last financial audit (financial mismanagement).
• Falsification of our student retention rate by allowing students with GPA’s as low as 0.0 to register for classes (dishonesty).
• Overrode faculty and changed the curriculum in disciplines in which he has no expertise (mindless arrogance).
• Repeated reorganizations of departments that confuse both students and faculty (incompetence).
We have a DUTY and an OBLIGATION to speak up and stop the CHEAPENING OF OUR DEGREES! Join the Independent Student Union when we OCCUPY the President’s office and mass call the Governor and our State Representatives and Senators on Wednesday, Nov 23 at 10 am.